Father loses appeal over baby daughter's murder conviction

  • Breaking
  • 22/02/2008

A father has failed in his final attempt to overturn his conviction and life sentence for drowning his seven-month-old daughter.

Kevin Little, 27, of Kaitangata, South Otago, was jailed for life, with a minimum 17-year non-parole period, in March last year after being convicted of murdering Alyssa Patricia Little-Murphy in the bath at his former partner's home in Nelson.

Little claimed that he accidentally dropped his daughter into the bath after slipping and knocking himself out while suffering an epileptic seizure. After losing an earlier appeal in the Court of Appeal, Little pursued his case to the Supreme Court.

The principle ground on which he sought leave to appeal was that a computer animation, which formed part of the evidence of a Crown witness, should not have been allowed.

The animation showed that if Little had dropped the baby in the way he described to police she would have very likely landed on the floor, not in the bath.

Dismissing the appeal, the three Supreme Court judges said they found the proposition that this evidence should not have been admitted as "untenable".

They said the expert witness had simply opted to use computer animation rather than a diagram, verbal description, or whiteboard to demonstrate his opinion.

"There is no basis for an argument that a substantial miscarriage of justice may have occurred on this ground."


source: newshub archive